It’s sick. It’s twisted. It’s thrilling. Sometimes it’s gory.
Horror. I love it. I’ve loved it my whole life. As hard as I try, I just cannot put my finger on why I love it so much. Perhaps it is the heart-racing, blood-curtling excitement it evokes. Horror can be a natural high for many people. How can anyone not enjoy having their nerves plucked ever so delicately until the insane terrifying climax that drives one to the edge of their seat? I get a kick out of it. So much so, that I wanted my next book to have horror elements to it.
The first thing I think about when writing is,where do I want this story to take place? What setting would best serve the story I’m trying to tell? For my new, yet-to-be-titled book, that place is Terrebonne Parish, Louisiana. I knew from watching movies such as The Skeleton Key and Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh that Louisiana can be an eerie place and would be the perfect place to set my story. The evocative history and richness of culture, the spooky ghost stories have all served me well so far.
My research has led me through the horrific crimes of Delphine LaLaurie, the mythology of the Rougarou, the Bayou Sale Road hitchhiker, the Axeman and so much more!
Me being the “excellent” (haha) decision maker that I’m totally not, I found myself discovering these facts and legends on the most overcast and/or rainy, dreary days. And I’m glad that’s the way it happened. I got a true feel for the way I wanted it to play out.
My biggest goal in choosing Terrebonne Parish was to take these unsuspecting, catered Yankee New Yorkers and throw them into a chaotic and unfamiliar place full of wild characters. So far, I find it to be working well.
The research has been the best part of the process! I love researching and learning new things, especially when it involves something hair-raising. I’ve found that some of the best ideas can be kindled by something as simple as a photograph. One photograph (at the top of this post) I found today of the swamp caught my attention and several ideas flew through my mind. It appears to show tree roots coming up from the water which looks eerily similar to bodies creeping up out of the swamp, clinging to one another and desperate for salvation—at least that’s how I saw it.
Halfway through my first draft, I am eagerly anticipating the way it will play out. As many writers would say, the stories we set out to tell sometimes shape-shift and evolve into something else along the way! While I’m sticking close to my outline, I’m doing my best to remain open to inspiration along the way!
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